Academic Skills Videos Available on the Server

All of the video materials used in the Academic Skills course have been uploaded to our server to make it much easier to access the videos and navigate from section to section within the same unit. It will not be necessary for you to use the DVDs anymore, unless you feel more comfortable doing so. In addition, students will have easy access to all the video material so that they can review lessons outside of class or, on their own during class time, as the videos for all the units have been put on a video publicly available video streaming site: http://vimeopro.com/user13420562/academic-skills-videos .

Refer to the following manuals (PDFs) in order to use the videos from the server:
Instructions for classroom use of AS materials on server
Instructions for self-access to AS materials

Some further note:

  • We have stopped printing out the AS textbook for students. It is their responsibility to print out the units teachers will work on during any particular class. Teachers may be selective in choosing which of the AS units to do in class as the quizzes do not contain specific content related to any of them, and it will make for an overly rushed class if teachers try to cover every unit. Teachers are STRONGLY encouraged to use supplemental videos from video streaming sites such as TED Talks or the YouTube university channel. Teachers may also give their own mini lectures on topics related to the AS’s units if they have expertise in any of those areas.
  • As all of the AS classes are held in CALL classrooms, students can easily access the online versions of the AS text and print the necessary pages using “print station” in a pinch. Of course, it is best for them to have printed out the units at home. That’s what most teachers ask them to do.
  • It is not reasonable to expect that students will have printed anything out on the first day of class. So, teachers may either bring in prints for them, if they want to get started with the text right away, or have them refer to the online version of the text while they listen to the content–without having them necessarily print it out.
  • Finally, we have been asking AS teachers to get their students to do one-minute mini lectures, by turns, without using notes. The first 5 minutes or so of class can be spent with this. While a student gives his/her mini lecture, classmates take notes and then the teacher improvises a short quiz. Alternatively, the speaker can quiz classmates on what was communicated to them. Jeff Bruce came up with this idea and it has worked quite well. It gives students some good public speaking practice, helps them practice note-taking skills, and allows students to get to know each other better as they may speak about the areas they know best.

Here’s some information on the newest units that were added to the AS text (as of April 2012):

We are pleased to announce that two new units have been added to the Academic Skills course this year:

  • Gricean Maxims, a lecture delivered by Prof. Eric McCready of our humble university
  • Multiculturalism in Canada, a lecture given by Prof. Bob Courchene of the University of Ottawa

The first of the new AS units is a lecture about some maxims, or rules, of conversation that an English philosopher of language named H.P. Grice devised. These rules have become known as Grice’s Conversational Maxims, or Gricean Maxims. It can be said that Grice’s work formed the basis of the modern study of pragmatics.

Access the video by CLICKING HERE.

You can download the EXERCISES HERE


The new unit on “Multiculturalism in Canada” offers a Canadian perspective on cultural accommodation. It shows how multiculturalism can offer a way to respond to religious and cultural diversity. Access the video by CLICKING HERE.

Students can download the EXERCISES as well.

In the future, all new video materials for the Academic Skills course will be made available through video streaming on the video hosting site Vimeo. That will give students more control over the material and allow them to review videos at home.

The Academic Skills Textbook can be downloaded in either PDF or DOC format. The two new units have been added as chapters 7 (Gricean Maxims) and 8 (Multiculturalism in Canada).

About Jodias

J.V. Dias, an American from San Jose, California, is currently the co-coordinator of the Integrated English (IE) Program and a member of the Communications Unit of Aoyama Gakuin University's English Department. In the last few years he has published articles that appeared in two TESOL texts: Dias, J.V., & Kikuchi, K. (2010). Designing listening tasks: Lessons learned from needs analysis studies. In Teaching Listening: Voices From the Field (N. Ashcraft and A. Tran, Eds.). Alexandria, VA: TESOL, pp. 9-31. AND... Dias, J.V. (2009). A Web of Controversy: Bringing Critical Thinking Skills Online. In Adult language learners: Context and innovation (G. Strong and A. Smith, Eds.). Alexandria, VA: TESOL, pp. 97-105.
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